Mayor Annise Parker and Houston City Council have confirmed the appointments of two directors – Neil Rackleff for the city’s Housing and Community Development Department and Katherine Tipton for the Department of Neighborhoods. Both have worked for the City of Houston and were chosen to lead their departments as interim directors in recent months, but excelled in their new roles and have become permanent directors.
“I am glad to have found that both Katie and Neal are up to the challenge of leading their respective departments and bringing them to new heights,” said Mayor Parker. “They each bring many years of invaluable experience in their fields, but moreover they have the institutional knowledge acquired as city employees that placed them above any other external candidates.”
Katherine Tipton joined the City of Houston in 2009 as a Sign Administrator in the Public Works Department. More recently, Ms. Tipton served as Interim Director of the Department of Neighborhoods, managing seven divisions. Encompassing a wide spectrum of community services and resources, the Department divisions are: Inspections & Public Services, Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office, Mayor’s Volunteer Initiatives Program, Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office, Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives, Office of International Communities and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.
Prior to joining the City of Houston, Ms. Tipton served as City Manager for the City of Stevenson in Alabama. In this capacity, she managed the city’s strategic plans for all departments, recommended courses of action for city growth, monitored and evaluated plans and results, and managed the city’s budget and finances. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Alabama.
Neal Rackleff brings to the City more than seventeen years of successful affordable housing, community and economic development experience. Prior to joining the City’s Housing and Community Development Department, Rackleff spearheaded numerous public/private partnerships and redevelopment efforts as an attorney for the law firm of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, LLP. As a former General Counsel for the Houston Housing Authority, and Vice President and General Counsel of the Greenspoint Management District, Rackleff has a deep understanding of both federal and state housing programs. Rackleff worked on some of the most significant development projects in the City’s history, including Allen Parkway Village and the redevelopment of the Rice Hotel.
Rackleff received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Southern California Law Center and a bachelor’s degree from Bringham Young University. He is involved in numerous civic and community organizations. In his spare time, Rackleff enjoys spending time with his wife of 24 years and their four children.